The preparation of bread as an article of food dates from a very early period. ( Genesis 18:6 ) The corn or grain employed was of various sorts. The best bread was made of wheat, but "barley" and spelt were also used. ( John 6:9 John 6:13 ; Isaiah 28:25 ) The process of making bread was as follows: the flour was first mixed with water or milk; it was then kneaded with the hands (in Egypt with the feet also) in a small wooden bowl or "kneading-trough" until it became dough. ( Exodus 12:34 Exodus 12:39 ; 2 Samuel 13:3 ; Jeremiah 7:18 ) When the kneading was completed, leaven was generally added [LEAVEN]; but when the time for preparation was short, it was omitted, and unleavened cakes, hastily baked, were eaten as is still the prevalent custom among the Bedouins. ( ( Genesis 18:6 ; 19:3 ; Exodus 12:39 ; Judges 6:19 ; 1 Samuel 28:24 ) The leavened mass was allowed to stand for some time, ( Matthew 13:33 ; Luke 13:21 ) the dough was then divided into round cakes, ( Exodus 29:23 ; Judges 7:13 ; 8:5 ; 1 Samuel 10:3 ; Proverbs 6:26 ) not unlike flat stones in shape and appearance, ( Matthew 7:9 ) comp. Matt 4:8 about a span in diameter and a fingers breadth in thickness. In the towns where professional bakers resided, there were no doubt fixed ovens, in shape and size resembling those in use among ourselves; but more usually each household poured a portable oven, consisting of a stone or metal jar, about three feet high which was heated inwardly with wood, ( 1 Kings 17:12 ; Isaiah 44:15 ; Jeremiah 7:18 ) or dried grass and flower-stalks. ( Matthew 6:30 )
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[T] indicates this entry was also found in Torrey's Topical Textbook
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Bread'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".